The Activity Series of the metals is an invaluable aid to predicting the

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Activity Series of the Elements
The Activity Series of the metals is an invaluable aid to predicting the products of replacement reactions. It
also can be used as an aid in predicting products of some other reactions. Pay attention to the notes below
as they are provided to help you make better use of the activity series than just the list of metals by
themselves.
1. Each element on the list replaces from a compound in aqueous solution any of the elements below it.
The larger the interval between elements, the more vigorous the reaction.
2. The first seven elements (lithium - sodium) are known as very active metals and they react with cold
water to produce the hydroxide and hydrogen gas.
3. The next five metals (magnesium - chromium) are considered active metals and they will react with
very hot water or steam to form the oxide and hydrogen gas.
4. The oxides of all of these first metals resist reduction by H2.
5. The next six metals (iron - lead) replace hydrogen from HCl and dil. sulfuric and nitric acids. Their
oxides undergo decomposition by heating with H2, carbon, and carbon monoxide.
6. The metals lithium - copper, can combine directly with oxygen to form the oxide.
7. The last five metals (mercury - gold) are often found free in nature, their oxides decompose with mild
heating, and they form oxides only indirectly
Metal
Reactivity
Lithium
Rubdium
Potassium
Barium
Strontium
Calcium
Sodium
Magnesium
Aluminum
Manganese
Zinc
Chromium
Iron
Cadmium
React with cold Water and
Acids, replacing hydrogen.
React readily with Oxygen forming oxides.
React with Steam(Not Cold H2O)
and Acids, replacing hydrogen.
React readily with oxygen forming Oxides
The metal oxides below decompose
in presence of heat & hydrogen
Cobalt
Nickel
Tin
Lead
React with Acids but not water
to replace hydrogen
React readily with oxygen forming Oxides
Hydrogen
Antimony
Arsenic
Bismuth
Copper
React readily with oxygen.
forming Oxides
Mercury
Silver
Palladium
Platinum
Gold
Mostly non-reactive
Decompose upon heating alone
NonMetal
Halogen Reactivity
F2
Cl2
Br2
I2
Anion above replaces
Anion below on list.
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